Nils Petter Molvær makes music in the twilight zone of electronica and jazz, the processed and the anciently acoustic, the planetary and the earthly.
Molvær’s latest album, 2011’s “Baboon Moon” is an album that marks a new direction for the trumpeter as it introduces his new trio featuring drummer/percussionist Erland Dahlen and guitar powerhouse Stian Westerhus. The album challenges every preconception of sound as Molvær delivers yet another career-defining album of improv-heavy, at times hardcore at other times obliquely beautiful music that may stem from many sources, but ultimately exists in a space all its own. May 10th marks the start of an extensive German tour in support of the album.
Molvær’s music makes people see things. Visions and images; some dark some luminous; “It all depends on the person” says Nils Petter. “The images are not mine, they belong to the listener. But I think it’s a good sign that my music invokes images, and sometimes even discloses simple truth: A girl wrote me once to tell me that I had saved her life; my music made her realize that she was not alone.”
Since his solo debut “Khmer” from 1997, NPM has stood forth as something of a musical sorcerer. His masterful blending of seemingly opposing principles of musical expressions continues to surprise and deeply affect the listener. His processed trumpet tone, the interweaving of electronic, ambient house elements with warm jazz timbres and eclectic field recordings is by now an unmistakable musical voice. Still, with each step and every record his powerful amalgamative music moves towards greater clarity and precision. How his music affects people is not his concern, that it does is.
“I always work towards emotional precision and clarity” says Nils Petter, “maybe it can be compared to refining tools: what they are used to is not up to me, but the fact that they can work with precision is very important. Maybe the fact that people always talk about my music in visual terms is a sign of such precision, I don’t know. What I do know is that I experience that what I do is becoming purer and clearer. It is a continuous search, trying to move away from creativity towards disclosure. I am more interested in truth than in sentiment. However, I hope there is a long way to go before I arrive at any kind of terminus in this respect. In fact I know that will never happen, because there is no end to the precision one can achieve in expression, which is the same as saying that there is no end to the wisdom one may acquire as a human being.”
Nils Petter Molvær, Jazz trumpeter